Making Love Tangible - The FTF Method
Phase I is what we call an "immersionship." What is it? It is where our Field Worker spends time in a community, with a family, being of use in any way the community or family needs. This is 6 months of learning the languages, working in fields, talking and learning culture. Our immersionship is the bedrock for all future work: no immersionship, no FTF. This is simply a time for us to learn, make mistakes, get sick, and create friendships. But what are immersionships?
Teaching elementary school kids English in Chuinajtajayub (yeah, that's a word) and learning all about what it means to be a child in rural Guatemala. Like it's hard for children to learn when they don't eat enough. That football is cool, but futbol is wayyy cooler. That being a teacher with limited resources means you have to connect with them using only some paper, a chalkboard, and your personality.
Or how about being a doctor in Sierra Leone sewing up accident victims and working with Ebola orphans?
Or a Field Worker on a mountain working with orphans by assisting in the raising of rabbits and livestock for eco-friendly, sustainable farming?
Or being a project coordinator in Sierra Leone for seven building projects including a dorm for Ebola victims and new schools for undereducated communities.
So we humble ourselves and do what we are asked. Sometimes it's tough, other times unbearable, but always a learning process that extends beyond your comfort zone. These experiences take us places we never could have imagined.
This is where we take our relationships, friendships, and immersion and put it all to good use.
We begin by identifying local visionaries, Impresarios, and make ourselves known to them. Often they are normal people, but with an idea for something great: a simple restaurant offering non-traditional foods, a bakery to serve the poor, or a local hot water bathing facility catering to the needs of indigenous Maya.
Whatever the project, we offer assistance.
Our assistance is a collaborative effort; we come and talk to them about their problems, issues, and obstacles. For instance: a community project wants to get water out to a pueblo but doesn't have a way to write a grant for it. Or a restaurant owner knows that he want's to gain more customers, but doesn't know how. And possibly a baker who wants to sell bread to the poor but needs a partner.
This is where we ask: Would you like help with that?
We connect the water project to a grant writer, the restaurant to a Guatemalan who knows a little something about marketing, and find potential partners for a baker. We also drill down and help the Impresario discover for themselves potential, actionable solutions that they can implement themselves.
We take them from problem to solution without ever once telling them what to do.
We are a conduit for their project to come alive.
We are serving.
The FTF Hubs are the visualization and the tool we want to use to make connections between Impresario and people like you.
A vital and essential part of our Field Worker's job involves listening and connecting people in order to make magic. We don't have all the answers, never will, but we know we can always find someone who does.
We think that person could be you: the salesman with a gardening hobby, or a manager with lots of experience hiring, or the plumber who enjoys water conservation. We all have something to offer. Which is why we are working to create hubs that connect and empower.